On Wednesday, the Coastal Commission approved a new 100-room resort hotel with a restaurant, cafe and spa in Dana Point on Green Lantern Avenue overlooking the Dana Point Harbor. As part of the permit conditions, the hotel will include 25 low-cost rooms and a new blufftop public walkway, as required by the public access provisions of the Coastal Act. In response to comments about sustainability and access from the Surfrider Foundation, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Commissioners and staff also added several additional conditions at the hearing. In summary, the new hotel will be required to provide carpool incentives for guests, offer enhanced public transportation fare reimbursements, provide an emergency ride home program for employees, create a marketing and communications plan for advertising the low cost rooms to low income communities, participate in a plastic pollution and microfiber reduction plan, ensure the building construction is solar ready, plant only native landscaping on the bluff side of the site. This marks one of the first comprehensive sustainability programs that the Commission has required and is an important precedent moving forward in coastal development permits for similar projects. Commissioners unanimously approved the permit.
Why You Should Care
This site, as well as the adjacent Dana Point Headlands area, is highly scenic and the trails and public access is an extremely valuable public resource that must be preserved. As climate change bears down, we must ensure that new development includes comprehensive sustainability measures to reduce our impact on the planet. The Coastal Commission’s natural resource protection provisions should be maximized for robust sustainability solutions.
Negative Conservation Vote
Commissioners Katie Rice and Mike Wilson encouraged additional energy efficiency measures which were ultimately incorporated into the permit. Commissioner Sara Aminzadeh noted the significant amount of staff time it took to negotiate and bring the applicant’s proposed project into compliance with the Coastal Act. She encouraged future applicants to start with consistent project proposals in order to save public resources.
Surfrider Foundation, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Coastal Development Permit
Approval with conditions